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08 Oct 2020

Can a heat pump be used for air conditioning?

By Lynn
  • Read time: 3 minutes
Going green? How we can achieve this in our day to day lives, especially in our homes is often a question we ask ourselves as we go about our daily lives. For most people, using renewable sources of energy is a great way to achieve this as it is cost-effective and saves time.

Turn up the heat the smart way

Smart devices and appliances are finding a place in many homes, especially in heating, ventilation, and heat pumps. Heat pumps are becoming more common in households and are deemed to be the future of heating in the UK as laws change in favour of more renewable, carbon neutral technology.

If you’re reading this article, then the main question on your mind is, how can an air source heat pump be used to cool a property? Let's start with the basics: air conditioners are electrical devices that cool the air indoors by absorbing warm air and supplying cold air currents. Heat pumps work along with the same principle and provide an additional function of warming by supplying hot air. The device can, therefore, act almost as an air conditioner during warmer days by instead providing cooler air, thus cooling your heating system.

Heat pump types

Heat pumps are generally classified into two major categories; these categories include air source heat pump (ASHP) and ground source heat pumps (GSHP). Differentiating the two types comes down to which source of heat the two devices use. For the air-source type, the heat is derived from the outside air while the ground source one utilizes heat from the ground.

On acquiring, the design of the pumps can offer two varieties for the devices. The split type units usually comprise separate indoor and outdoor units while a packaged unit contains a single compartment in which all the components are housed. Most customers prefer the packaged units as they can include a gas boiler or electric heating coils as additions to provide extra heating during cold weather.

Benefits of choosing a heat pump

Before purchasing a heating pump, one might wonder what the benefits are as opposed to other conventional methods of heating. These benefits may include:

  • Eco-friendly use as they are energy-efficient compared to the use of gas or oil boilers. This is a significant factor in areas with moderate climates as other forms of heating end up wasting energy.

  • Since a heat pump is sometimes capable of both heating and cooling, the dual nature of its work removes the need to buy a separate heating and cooling mechanism for a household.

  • The devices have a long lifespan that lasts between 10 to 15 years, thus reduces the cost of replacing as well as maintenance offering high reliability. The maintenance costs are lowered as they don’t use expensive sources of energy, such as oil or wood.

  • There’s potential income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Other benefits include

The overall cost of the device with installation varies depending on many factors. These factors may include the size of the unit being purchased, its unit type, location of installation, and efficiency ratings of the device. Additional criteria, such as the number of radiators to be installed, can also affect the range of the price.

As mentioned earlier, one of the types of pumps that can be bought includes the air source heat pump. It is the most preferred type as the device can deliver heat energy up to 3 times more than the electricity it uses. From a technical point of view, the heat is transferred rather than converted from a fuel source, as found in combustion engines, which are used in other heating systems. In the UK, air-to-water heater pumps are the most common models. These systems distribute heat energy through a wet central heating system. In most regions with extended sub-zero temperatures, air-source based heating pump technology was not viable until recently when advancements were made, thus offering enough heat energy requirements.


So how well can a heat pump cool your home?

In conclusion, it is difficult to give an exact answer as it depends completely on the system you choose to have installed and factors such as whether or not underfloor heating is included. Some heat pump systems are also much more efficient than others. At 50five we recommend either Mitsubishi Ecodan, Daikin or Vaillant heat pumps as they are of the highest quality and both manufacturers have received commendation for the quietness and efficiency levels of their heat pumps.


Written by Lynn

Writes blogs about EV charging and climate solutions for 50five.